After reading The Revisionists and enjoying it, I decided to check out Thomas Mullen’s other work. The Last Town on Earth is nothing like The Revisionists in terms of genre, being historical fiction rather than “literary sci-fi, but it is a really compelling story full of interesting information and character development and I’d recommend it.
I remember learning about the IWW, the Wobblies, and the flu of 1918 in American history, but I hadn’t really ever given it much thought. The Last Town on Earth puts names and faces to the conflicts between timber barons and the workers, and gives great insight to how terrifying the flu was when germ theory was new and most doctors had not been to medical school. It’s also interesting to consider how World War I looked from the perspective of working people in the American west–in hindsight we always assume that the wars of the past were popular and right, but at the time there is often a lot of dissent and confusion about why we are fighting. Even if I hadn’t been captivated by the story, I would recommend this book just for the historical insight.
But the story is great too. Although I do think you can tell that this book was written before The Revisionists because Mullen’s writing was tighter and even more expertly paced in that novel, The Last Town on Earth is also well-developed and paced, and has good twists and intriguing characters.
Whether you’re interested in history or just like a great and well-written story, I’d recommend The Last Town on Earth.
If you read different books by the same author, do you ever notice changes in his or her writing style or progression?
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